We love the slobbery kisses our furry friends give us! But what are some reasons why your dog licks you? Many of us have either experienced or seen it – a dog licking its owner and people is very common. There are many different reasons why a dog might lick, but what is the psychology and meaning behind it? Here are some reasons why your dog might be licking you aside from having food on your face!
A Sign of Affection
If your dog is licking you, they are showing a sign of affection. The licking causes your dog to release satisfying endorphins, which comforts them and makes them happy. Your dog feels nothing but joy when they’re licking their best human friends!
Licking is a crucial instinct for canine behavior. Licking is also an instinct within dogs. Puppies are licked by their mother, and puppies lick each other when grooming and in other social interactions. The mother communicates with her new puppies through licking. This behavior also stimulates them to start breathing when they are born. Licking also works as a kind of submissive gesture where the subordinate members of a pack lick the more dominant members – an essential aspect in upholding pack harmony.
A form of Communication
When dogs lick each other, it is a form of communication. They send messages like “let’s be friends” or “I’m hungry.” It is no different from when they are licking humans – we are not as good at understanding the message. If a dog licks you intensely, they are trying to tell you something. You should look around to see if something is missing, like an empty water bowl or a closed door. The licking indicates that your dog needs something. Dogs are attention-seeking animals, and this often incorporates the tongue. They lick as a simple greeting to get their owner’s attention. Your dog is indirectly saying: “Hello, I am here, I am cute, and I want you to pet me!” Be attentive to the frequency and intensity of your dog’s licks. They can mean more than just an ‘I love you.”
A Learned Behavior
Licking can be a learned (and overdone) behavior. If a dog, time after time, sees that it gains attention after licking its owner, licking will increasingly become a part of its daily behavior. A way to decrease this is to ignore the licking. If your dog licks you, stand up promptly and leave the room. This is not what the dog wants to happen, so if it repeatedly sees that you leave the room when licked, they will learn to dissociate, licking with attention. Excessive licking can also be a sign of anxiety or injury. If your dog is licking an area excessively, it may indicate they have an injury or some part of their body is bothering them. Similarly, licking excessively can also be linked to anxiousness. If your dog is licking itself or something repeatedly, it may indicate something is stressing them out.
There are multiple reasons why your dog licks you. It can be instinctual, affection, or a form of communication. Pay attention to your dog’s licks, especially if they are unexpected or overdone. They may be telling you more than meets the eye!
Why Should You Make TOP TAILS Your Philadelphia Dog Caregiver?
Here at TOP TAILS Pet Sitting, we love every pet equally. Whether your dog is blind, deaf or has special needs, our loving dog caregivers in Philadelphia will be happy to look after your furry friend when you cannot be home.
You can trust that our team members will provide only the best care for your pets, as we require all employees to pass a criminal background check and to be neat, tidy and respectful. Our Philadelphia dog caregivers are extensively trained and experienced in meeting pets’ needs.
We look forward to showing you why we’re the dog caregivers Philadelphia pet owners rely on! Interested in giving TOP TAILS a try? Call 215-508-1903 or visit the web for information on our rates and services.